A Fruiting Body is an ongoing performance research project initiated in Berlin with dancer Jos McKain. Taking a line from Anna Tsing, “it is as if i decided to mate with (not clone) my own arm: how queer”, as a provocation, it explores the task of finding space for new life and new connections within the individual body. Referencing the asexual reproduction of fungus and the theories of spore networks (both real and fictional), the movement is a constantly shifting and reaching action. The work exists as an ongoing exploration and has grown to encompass collage, live performance, research, text, image and video.
“...it is as if I decided to mate with (not clone) my own arm: how queer”
The first iteration of the work was shown as part of the exhibition event Ian White: Cinema as a Live Art/Becoming Object at Kino Arsenal, Berlin. Here, the project was presented as a series of 35mm slides taken during movement research projected into the cinema space while the audience performed an original text to create a soundscape of collective voice. Following this, a research film was created taking the collective voice text further and combining it with movement research and found and original footage of spores, fungi and fruiting bodies. Throughout the film the body shifts between states of growth, rest and decay in its attempts to mate with itself and find spaces for new growth.
A live research session was staged alongside the film at Siobhan Davies Dance, London. During this open studio I was in conversation with performer Karen Callaghan as she improvised in response to a series of projected transparencies I composed and manipulated live. During this session, a collage soundtrack of found audio was used to inform the visiting audience of some of the themes of the work. Collages have been created throughout the development of the work, forming a series of scores and documentation. These collages combine original photography, found imagery, leaves, beetroot stain, onion dye, saliva, ink, moss and other natural materials on paper. A series of digital printed editions are available to purchase.
fruting body collages
The work is an ongoing and evolving research project with an expanding network of outcomes.
Berlin research in collaboration with Jos McKain. London research in collaboration with Karen Callaghan.
First stage of research supported by Arts Council Developing Your Creative Practice grant (2018).